MOUNT VERNON — Did you know that Mark Twain had three important mentors in his career and they were all from Ohio? Did you know his first mentor was born in Knox County?
“Leave-M Laugh-N” showcases Mark Twain and several well-known humorists of the era, plus several “serious” lecturers as they prepare for the upcoming Lyceum season and test out their new material. What results are miscues and mayhem as high brow and low brow entertainers clash in a spirited yet humorous look at life in 1869.
Along the way the audience will meet such real life people as Mark Twain; Dan De Quille, born in Fredericktown and one of the most respected writers of the time; Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby, founder of newspapers in Bucyrus and Findlay and one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite columnists; Josh Billings, second only to Twain as a humorist in the second half of the 19th century and where the term “just joshing you” comes from; Anna E. Dickinson, major lecturer and highly respected throughout the country; Kate Field, lecturer who was respected by some but not Twain; Marietta Holley, female humorist at a time when women were not known for writing humor; and James Redpath, founder of the Boston Lyceum Bureau and agent to all of these characters above and many others such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas.
The play centers the lecturers as they meet in Boston to prepare for the Lyceum season and discuss everything from Twain’s upcoming nuptials to temperance to milk. Many of the events are mentioned in Twain’s autobiography. The audience will get a glimpse of life right after the Civil War and humor just as it was coming of age on the American stage.
This is the second play written by Knox County resident Mike Petee.
The play is directed by veteran playwright and director Mark S. Jordan and the cast consists of Ken Barnett, Kristi Beatty, Anna Kim, Don Lincicome, Joe Collins, Doug Gustafson, Jim Stoner, Amy K. Stoner, Daniel P. Turner, Carl Young, Catherine Blencowe, Steven Meeker, Heidi Van Hoof and Haley McCoy.
The new play is set to premiere Friday, Saturday and Sunday and April 15, 16, 17 at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St., in downtown Mount Vernon. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and the Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale at both Sips Coffee House and Deli locations in Mount Vernon and Family Video in Mount Vernon or by reserving tickets at 740-392-3018.
For information visit www.elixirpresents.com.
Published on April 6, 2011